Learn and protect: Danville police officers receive de-escalation training

DANVILLE, Va. – Officers with the Danville Police Department recently relearned how to serve and protect without using deadly force.

The department hosted de-escalation training for all of its officers over the past two months, including a session for its Church Patrol Friday morning. The training featured numerous real-world examples of police de-escalation, as well as peaceful procedural guidelines for officers.

Danville Police Chief Scott Booth considers the training essential learning.

“Right now, I don’t think there is another topic or policy more important than use of force, particularly deadly force,” Booth said. “Anything that makes our agency better in serving our community, I’m a huge fan of.”

In addition to the classroom portions of the training, fellow Danville officers re-enacted scenarios where the lessons would come into play.

“Use time on your side, use distance, and talk with these people,” said Danville Police officer Ben Crozier.

“If you come in screaming, ‘Drop the knife, drop the knife,’ and cursing, does that favor de-escalation?’” said Danville Police Cpl. Evan Wilson. “Absolutely not.”

The training solely dealt with people wielding knives and handheld weapons, and does not apply to people carrying guns or other armed weapons.

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